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Allen & Overy and Linklaters win key roles on £550m Quorn acquisition

Allen & Overy and Linklaters secured advisory roles as the private equity owners of meat-substitute Quorn offloaded it to a Filipino noodle maker for £550m.

Yorkshire based Quorn, which is advertised by Olympic running great Mo Farah and generated in sales £150.3m in 2014, has been purchased by Filipino food group Monde Nissin as part of a play to develop a healthy foods stable.

The sale means that Quorn’s private equity owners Exponent Private Equity and Intermediate Capital Group (ICG), which purchased the company from Premier Foods in 2011 for £205m, has more than doubled their investment in five years.

Allen & Overy’s London-based private equity partner Gordon Milne was instructed by Exponent and ICG. Magic Circle rival Linklaters acted for Monde Nissin in the deal which is the third largest overseas acquisition by a Filipino company, as Asian firms seek out European brands in the food and drinks sector.

Linklaters’ head of corporate Matthew Middleditch, who is based in Hong Kong, led the legal advice for Monde Nissin, while in London M&A partner Owen Clay and private equity partner Stuart Boyd, handled the deal.

Milne said: ‘This is an exemplary private equity transaction; a non-core asset was acquired from a large corporate and Exponent then supported a superb management team over several years to transform the business into an attractive asset with strong growth prospects. It’s also another example of international corporates buying highly-performing, private equity-owned European assets and further evidence of the buoyancy of the exit environment for PE funds who have attractive assets to sell.’

Quorn Foods has around 620 employees on three UK sites and internationally. Outside of its main Yorkshire manufacturing base, it also has plants in Norfolk, Frankfurt and Chicago.

Monde Nissin chief executive, Henry Soesanto, said: ‘Monde Nissin have been investing in on-trend, better-for-you products internationally in line with our strategy to become a global diversified food company.’